refers to a group of genetic diseases where there is a defect in the 21st pair of chromosomes, due to which
the children born have a characteristic skeletal structure, mentally challenged to a variable degree, high
incidence of congenital heart disease, and risk of many infections and cancers. The cause of Down syndrome
is due to triplication (instead of duplication) of the Human Chromosome number 21.
- The child with Down’s syndrome is characterized by striking physical changes, low stature with delayed
physical and mental milestones. The defects are widespread through the body. The condition is usually present
from birth; physical growth is slow, and has stopped by the time the child is 15.
Defective growth of the skull, leading especially to abnormalities of the base and the orbit, is responsible
for the peculiarities of cranial shape. The appearance of these usually happy persons, mentally challenged to
a variable degree is rather suggestive of a Mongol race (We NEVER USE the term Mongolism now) or of a fetus.
The skull is small and round, and the junction of occiput (lower back part of skull) and back of neck flat;
an epicanthic fold across each inner canthus, narrow tilted eye-slits and lids without lashes, red cheeks,
fissured and often protruding tongue, stubby depressed nose with nostrils looking forward, irregular
late-appearing teeth, coarse hair on the scalp, small facial bones and occasional neurological anomalies,
such as nystagmus, make the head of every Down Syndrome person a disagreeable but ready index to his disorder.
The whole body structure is abnormal to some degree, testifying to the wide spread genetic disorder of the
condition. The limbs are lax with hyper-mobility at the joints. The feet are broad and clumsy. The hands have
short fingers, with a special pattern between the base of the third and fourth fingers, and a crease across
the palm). The abdomen has a protuberant belly.